A group of 30 scientists in the United Kingdom, lead by Sir David Attenborough and prominent scientist Richard Dawkins, have called for the outlawing of teaching creationism in school science lessons, accusing religious fundamentalists for portraying it as scientific theory in publicly funded schools.
Instead, the group asserts, the curriculum should be altered to ensure that evolution is taught from the start, according to the scientists.
Creationism and intelligent design are not scientific theories, but they are portrayed as scientific theories by some religious fundamentalists who attempt to have their view promoted in publicly funded schools, the scientists say. They should be enforceable statutory guidance that they may not be presented as scientific theories in any publicly funded school of whatever type.
The scientists, who have signed a statement, allege that it is unacceptable to teach creationism and intelligent design, saying teachings that claim God created the world is dangerous and must be prevented by law in public schools.
The statement further claims that two organizations, Truth in Science and Creation Ministries International are touring the UK and presenting themselves as scientists and their creationist views as science, The Guardian reported.
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Truth in Science, according to the Guardian, has sent free resources to all secondary heads of science and to school librarians around the country that seek to undermine the theory of evolution and have intelligent design ideas portrayed as credible scientific viewpoints. Speakers from Creation Ministries International are reportedly touring the UK, the paper said, presenting themselves as scientists and their creationist views as science at a number of schools.
Under former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the UK government did issue guidance to schools that the subject should not be taught, but never signed it into law.
Currently, teaching evolution is not compulsory in primary schools, though some aspects have been introduced in classes. The proposal to add it to the national curriculum accepted by Labour in 2009 was dropped last year; it is currently being reviewed by the Department for Education.
The education secretary was crystal clear in opposition and now in government that teaching creationism as scientific fact is wrong, the Department of Education said. He will not accept any academy or free school proposal which plans to teach creationism in the science curriculum or as an alternative to accepted theories.